CATEGORY: SOCIAL DISTANCING

A wristband oximeter for COVID 19 detection and protection

ABSTRACT:

It is estimated that 80% of covid infected people are asymptomatic and could have 'silent hypoxemia' where the person does not exhibit any symptoms till oxygen levels become critically low.

  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/covid-19-how-do-we-explain-happy-hypoxemia and
  • https://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/010720/covid-induced-happy-hypoxia-is-silent-killer.html This prevents the timely detection and treatment before onset of hypoxia and possible fatality and death. According to several studies, if the SpO2% falls below a threshold level of 90% it indicates pulmonary infection/dysfunction. To address this issue we propose a wristband oximeter to measure blood oxygen levels continuously to alert when possibility of COVID infection is present so timely medical help can be given to PROTECT the user from further deterioration. We incorporate an LED diode and piezoelectric transducer to provide audio-visual alert when user is in proximity to other individuals. This provides a DETECTION alert to other individuals and prompts SOCIAL DISTANCING to avoid getting infected by user. Social distancing is also prompted in the user psychologically when he is continuously wearing the band and becomes aware at the SUB-CONSCIOUS LEVEL of the existence of the disease. SEEING OTHERS around him wearing the band also alerts him to the possibility of infection if he doesn't maintain effective social distance, particularly since the virus is now known to remain airborne for long periods of time.

DESCRIPTION:

CoronaBANneD - Stay safe! A wearable corona detection/protection band.

An MIT study reveals India might see 2.87 lakh Covid cases per day by February 2021. It is imperative therefore that the spread is controlled at the earliest possible.

An effective COVID19 pandemic control solution should 1) continuously monitor a person for infection 2) promote social distancing 3) reduce fatality rate 4) be automated with minimum manual intervention 5) be affordable 6) be easy to implement 7) monitor patient health even after recovery

Most COVID 19 COMMON symptoms can be recognized by the patient himself or just by visual/physical examination without the need for diagnostic equipment. Cough, fever, tiredness, sore throat, diarrhoea, headache, loss of taste or smell, a rash on skin, discolouration of fingers or toes

However, SERIOUS symptoms like difficulty breathing or shortness of breath and chest pain or pressure need to be monitored with equipment before the disease becomes fatal. This is where the wrist oximeter is useful.

The most important metric which determines the efficacy of a disease control solution is the fatality rate. It is estimated that 70% of COVID 19 patients that succumb had existing co-morbidities. The CoronaBANned should first and foremost be provided to such people to continuously monitor their condition and prevent the onset of hypoxia by providing an early warning audio-visual alarm at low SpO2% levels. If the fatality rate can be brought down dramatically the actual impact of the pandemic on the population can be mitigated.

A finger pulse oximeter requires manual intervention and cannot be worn for continuous measurement as it is inconvenient. A wrist oximeter can automate and CONTINUOUSLY measure the SpO2% as it can be worn throughout the day, indoor and outdoor, if necessary. Continuous measurement is important as it can alert when oxygen level begins to fall suddenly. A case in point

It would also be useful for continuous monitoring of home quarantined patients.

It would provide a solution for self monitoring by all front line Corona workers, including health professionals, police, etc. who stand the highest risk of infection since they have to come in close proximity of the public while treating them or trying to enforce Corona regulations for public safety.

Most importantly, it is NECESSARY for all individuals since there is not enough testing being done because of a shortage of test kits. It is also not possible to test an individual at regular intervals using test kits because SARS type infections can infect within a day or two of the person testing negative if social distancing and other hygiene measures are not strictly observed. This is because it is airborne and highly infectious. A wrist oximeter provides continuous monitoring/testing of the person to address this problem.

The earliest date of arrival of a vaccine is estimated to be in 2021. This device would help in preventing the spread till a vaccine arrives.

An actual case study of the method used to stop the spread in Dharavi one of the largest slums in India. "How Mumbai's Dharavi defused the covid-19 bomb"

WHO recently acknowledged the success of the Dharavi Model in arresting the spread through testing and tracing.

The efficacy of current COVID19 tests is unreliable and often shows false positives/negatives.

The SpO2% is a test that is 1) instantaneous 2) non invasive 3) gives RELIABLE indication of infection 4) easy to implement 5) low one time cost

To quote from Wikipedia

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulse_oximetry Pulse oximeters are used to help with the early detection of COVID-19 infections, which may cause initially unnoticeable low arterial oxygen saturation and hypoxia. The New York Times reported that "health officials are divided on whether home monitoring with a pulse oximeter should be recommended on a widespread basis during Covid-19. Studies of reliability show mixed results, and there’s little guidance on how to choose one. But many doctors are advising patients to get one, making it the go-to gadget of the pandemic.
  • https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/24/well/live/coronavirus-pulse-oximeter-oxygen.html

The cost and weight of commercial oximeters/health-bands is high because of full OLED/other displays and multiple sensors. A $20 oximeter is possible that 1) Only measures oxygen level SpO2% 2) No expensive display except for a single red LED and a low power piezoelectric speaker 3) Has lower standby power consumption without a full display 4) Wrist wearable for continuous monitoring 5) Flashes the red LED alarm and beeps at SpO2% below 90%

It provides a real time audio visual alarm when user is in a crowd. If a user has an LED flashing, beeping band, everyone around the user will 1) immediately maintain safe distance from user 2) contact the healthcare helpline so the user is provided immediate care

A simple TextToSpeech implementation on the device could alert the user in crowds regularly, to 1) Whether he is wearing a mask 2) Whether he has taken immunity building supplements and prophylactic preventive medication 3) Whether he is maintaining social distancing

With large scale manufacture of the device it is possible to drive down the price point so it is affordable for a majority of the population.

FUTURE PROOF DEVICE:

All SARS type infections can benefit from the use of a wrist oximeter. They all cause pulmonary distress that can become fatal.

A case in point is the emergence of an new 'unknown pneumonia'

Current studies have shown that monitoring of patient health after recovery for symptoms is important. Shortness of breath occours even after recovery and can be monitored with the wrist oximeter

Also a recent UK Study shows that immunity to COVID 19 could be lost in months even for recovered patients. It also raises uncertainty about whether a vaccine would work effectively

The wrist oximeter would help alert people to infection who have lost immunity over a period of time and are re-infected.

POSSIBLE IMPLEMENTATION WITH IMAGES:

A research paper from the University of Toronto implements a wrist band oximeter with high reliability, for manufacturers and developers to implement

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Most pandemic control solutions rely on the user having a mobile phone and internet accessibility. In developing countries, mobile and internet penetration is generally low and a standalone embedded device is preferable as a first line of defense. The above band suits this purpose and can be made available to a majority of the population at low cost, without the need for mobile and/or internet accessibility.

If mass produced the cost per unit can be made affordable for the masses and it could SUPPLEMENT a mask as an ESSENTIAL ITEM that all people should wear during the pandemic. It would ALERT 80% of infected people who are asymptomatic and unaware that hypoxia can set in without any other symptoms. Delay in first aid and hospitalization after hypoxia sets is the major reason why fatality rate is high. It would help in early treatment and reducing the fatality rate which is the most important parameter to consider in pandemic control.

REFERENCES:

Post Infection treatment:

Clinical Management Protocol:

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